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Astronomy & Observing News

Sky & Telescope April 2012

Sky & Telescope's April 2012 issue is now available to digital subscribers.

Astronomy & Observing News

Sky & Telescope March 2012

Sky & Telescope's March 2012 issue is now available to digital subscribers.

Stellar Science

Black Hole Shoots Bullets

Observations of a black hole that spat out twin blobs of superhot material may help astronomers understand how the mysterious beasts create powerful jets that shoot out from their poles. The blobs appeared just as the system went quiet in X-rays.


Alien Mars Announced

Aided by an amateur astronomer, Kepler scientists have detected an exoplanet system containing three sub-Earth-sized planets, the smallest of which is about the size of Mars.


New Maps of Dark Matter

An intensive study of dark matter’s distribution in the universe has verified predictions of where the invisible stuff that makes up the majority of cosmic matter resides.

Celestial News & Events

New Supernova in Leo

Along with the usual galaxies, dark matter, and exoplanets, the American Astronomical Society's January meeting is abuzz with the discovery of a supernova by a team of amateurs. Astronomers are rushing to observe the explosion before it fades.

Solar System

Pseudo-moons Orbit Earth

Temporary satellites are frequently caught from Earth's neighborhood and may make regular passes at being moonlets. But the objects only stick around long enough to orbit a few times before the Moon kicks them back out into the cold.

Stellar Science

Young Stars Aren’t So Young

Astronomers age-dating the nearest large association of young stars have found that one subgroup may be twice as old as previously thought.

Astronomy & Observing News

Sky & Telescope February 2012

Sky & Telescope's February 2012 issue is now available to digital subscribers.

Milky Way

Black Hole Breakfast En Route

Astronomers have discovered a dusty, stretched-out cloud heading for the supermassive black hole lurking in the Milky Way's core. The blob could be the meal the beast needs to wake up for a bit from its slumber, if the cloud survives its incoming trip on the dining cart.


Asteroids, Planets, and Moons, Oh My

This week’s meeting of the American Geophysical Union brought together a variety of interesting science results, from water on Mars to the Sun’s effect on the Moon’s surface. Here’s a selection of curiosities for your perusing pleasure.


Super Black Holes: New Records, If Real

This week astronomers announced the existence of two gargantuan black holes. The black holes may be the most massive ever directly measured — if further studies can validate them.

Voyager 1

Solar System

Voyagers Detect Missing Signal

The Voyager spacecraft have observed long-sought emission from the Milky Way while traveling through the outermost reaches of the Sun’s influence.

Astronomy & Observing News

Sky & Telescope January 2012

Sky & Telescope's January 2012 issue is now available to digital subscribers.

Stellar Science

Another Origin for Cosmic Rays

Recent gamma-ray observations support the longstanding theory that superspeedy particles called cosmic rays have their origin in the havoc-ridden regions around young star clusters.


Detecting Earth

Joseph LazioFor five decades astronomers have used some of the world’s largest radio telescopes to search for signals from other civilizations. So far, our best equipment has not picked up any confirmed signals from extraterrestrials. In his cover story for the January 2012 issue of Sky & Telescope, radio astronomer…

Astronomy & Observing News

Name That Telescope Array

Have a gift for picking good names? The newly updated Very Large Array wants a snazzy appellation to mark its second lease on life. Submit your suggestion by December 1st.

Solar System

Europa's Subsurface Lakes

Extensive lens-shaped lakes beneath the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa may explain strange features spread across the satellite's ice shell.

Astronomy & Observing News

The Oddly Magnetic Moon

Astronomers have had evidence of an ancient Moon-wide magnetic field since the Apollo era. Now two new studies give explanations for how such a field could have existed long after it should have disappeared.

Stellar Science

Sunspot Points at Earth

A huge solar blemish mars the Sun’s disk, in perfect view for Earth-based observers.